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Author Topic: Convergence (Chap IV)  (Read 28208 times)

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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #250 on: March 06, 2008, 04:02:47 AM »
As Adan explained, so did Kyrian listen, to the convoluted path that the relationship between the Hellschwerts and von Hellens took; the road to hatred was paved with the usual cobblestones. Once, the two families were related, but drop upon drop the cup of dissension filled, until no two were farther apart in the Realm: a badly phrased request there, a misunderstood compliment here, a son accidentally killed in a tournament or during a hunt, brazen youngsters duelling to the death over a maiden whose heart belonged to neither - such events go a long way to create long-lasting rifts between people. After accidental slights, those commited with an intent followed, vengeance for vengeance, two eyes for an eye, until there accumulated reason enough to commit anything.

The latest plot seemed particularly vile though. Kyrian laid his arm around Adan's shoulder, and spoke to him: "I am at your side in this matter, yet, keep in mind: we do not do this so that bards sing about us, though it is welcome; even justice takes second seat to protecting those you love; even the greatest victory tastes fallow when the one whom you want to witness it the most lies dead."

After taking a gulp from his mug, he patted Adan once more, and added: "Forgive me my interjection. Please, speak on."
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #251 on: March 06, 2008, 02:48:04 PM »
North, Seven Hours Later

The two figures slowed as they noticed the huge well which Syree's Well was aptly named for. Adan took in his surroundings, as memories came rushing back.

Syree's Well was a community of less than a few hundred people. Hundreds of years ago, these were prime Hellschwert lands. The Empire however, had claimed this land as their own from the Hellschwerts, and for a while, Syree's Well was simply considered a suburb of Jantir. Nowadays it was merely a non-descript village along the Great City's periphery, one of many, the village's only claim to fame being the massive stone well standing in its center. Ironically, the well was dry and no longer in use.

Adan thought back to the time when he had visited this town with his uncle Thuerbold, in order to stamp out some mercenary band which had tethered itself in Syree's Well, and lived high on the hog, taking advantage of the poorly governed back-water, by annointing themselves, "Syree's Protectors". Blood few that day, but none of it came from Adan's or Thuerbold's veins.

Adan was lost in thought. Fond memories getting interrupted by foul ones was nothing new to him, but just then he was tapped on the shoulder by Kyrian, who had lept off Herald, and was now walking alongside his prized mount.

Adan turned, and as he did, Kyrian pointed to an inn door, the very same one, that the half-elven mage Halnoli had mentioned back in Jantir. If Adan remembered correctly, Halnoli had asked Kyrian to look in on the innkeeper, who supposedly was having some trouble with some druids and something called [Beast-Weed].

Kyrian meanwhile, was thinking this would be as good a place as any to inquire about his missing charge, she who was supposedly somewhere in this area. At least if Halnoli's mysterious crystal-ball gazing could be believed.

It was early evening now. The two men had traveled briskly and were now tired and hungry. They planned on spending the night here, and await Tristan and Vorodon's arrival on the morrow.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 02:56:48 PM by Murometz »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #252 on: March 10, 2008, 09:55:58 PM »
Aerex wearily rubbed his eyes.  "Sorry I'm late," he managed with a sigh.  Looking at Talia raised his spirits enough.  "I think I know how we can get to the Harbormaster," he said to her promptly.  "You said his wedding is right after the Regatta, right?  Well, barring a sudden befriending and invitation to his nuptials, seems like the only way to get to him is to enter the Regatta.  I know - well, used to know at least - a few people down at the docks that owe me favors.  I may be able to pull the right strings and get us in a crew."  With any luck, on the Vermillion Wind, he thought to himself.  There was no need to rush into the whole sequence of the previous night just yet; there would be plenty of time to discuss weird tales of bald women and dragon prophecies later.  "I know it sounds like a long shot, but it seems our best bet."  Matare coaxed a smile onto his face.  "What do you say?"

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #253 on: March 11, 2008, 01:04:53 AM »
Talia considered.  She had never been on the sea; had barely been on a river.  But it seemed to be the only way to meet this Harbormaster, who was likely to have information she wanted.  "That seems like a reasonable plan.  I can't think of any other way to meet the man."  She smiled at Aerex.  "So if your friends agree, I hope they don't mind having someone aboard who's never sailed before."  It would be a new experience, anyway.  She might even enjoy it.
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #254 on: March 11, 2008, 04:21:47 PM »
Jolted from the train of memories, which had, by then, reached a fond memory of being scolded by his twin over running off to play 'Knights and bandits' with his uncle, a bit of remembered happiness glinting in his eyes, though not about his lips, Adan's head snapped around for a moment, to follow the gesture. "Ach. The everstern mistress, duty, takes up her whip, does she? Let us be about it, then, and pray her task is light. Lead on, Kyrian."

A mere fast and vigil, the fallen knight could bear on will alone for days, but the dust and mud of the road would need removed as soon as possible. It left him uncomfortable, strangely.

Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #255 on: March 11, 2008, 04:25:13 PM »
<will post tonight!>
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #256 on: March 11, 2008, 11:18:35 PM »
The VermillionWind

Later that morning Aerex, Talia, made their way back to the docks, and began to walk along the pier once more, as they had the previous day, though now their quarry differed. Vorodon was finishing his breakfast, and hurried after teh pair several minutes later, catching up with them, by the time the smell of the sea assailed the trio's noses.

After speaking to several dockhands, a fishmonger, and a one-armed sailor, they at last found the dockyard, where the sailing ships which were slated to participate in the great race were stabled, like prize-winning stallions, each enclosed inside a private boathouse, arrayed over a half-mile of coastline, below the actual docks.

After another hour, they at last found the ship, The Vermillion Wind, perhaps as expected, just now getting a fresh coat of vermillion paint, by a busy-looking squad of hired workers.

[http://users.triera.net/poldolfi/galerija-maket-ladij/nina.jpg]


Approaching the vessel, the thre companions were stopped by some hired guards, It seemed that each ship also had a small security force, to keep prying ears, eyes, and spies, away from the vessel. It all indeed seemed as if a great horse race was going to be held. One on the high seas.

“What is your business with the Vermillion?” a gruff,  young man barely out of his teens asked, leaning on his spear, and scratching his hairy chin. The half-ogre in his presence, made the youth somewhat nervous. Vorodon could smell it on him, though to his credit, the young man looked relaxed.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 12:22:24 AM by Murometz »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #257 on: March 12, 2008, 09:11:42 PM »
Aerex let a grin grace his face.  "By the Dynast, that's some ship, ain't it?"  He let his old Jantiri accent and street rat charm wash over him.  While it might make him look a foreign fool elsewhere, it bought credit in old Ssembra.  "Youse gettin' ready for the race, right?  Man, it's a big one this year!  My cousin, he put money on this one.  Vermillion Wind, right?  He says there ain't no betta ship in the Regatta, so I says I'd better go check it out.  I'll tell ya, I think he's right."  Aerex leaned back, whistling at the masted vessel.  He crossed his arms and shook his head as though in disbelief.  "Some ship alright.  Hope your crew can handle 'er.  Some of the yachties around here don't know their mizzen from their jibboom, if y'know what I mean." (Aerex thanked the Guard Academy for the brief but mandatory boat safety course he took as a cadet.) He looked back to the guard and leaned in to just a few inches from his face, the appropriate distance for two Jantiris discussing covert topics.  "Y'know, my pal Voro here yusta be quite the sailor.  Boy, he could handle them real big ships, too, just as well as the little sloops.  He might look awkward here on land, but that's just cuz he's like - well, like a fish outta water!"  He snickered aloud before getting a serious look again.  "If youse in the market for a crew, me an' him and the gal make quite a team.  Maybe you could mention it to the boss, huh?  Hate for my cousin to lose that money."

(OOC: Attempting a Bluff on the guard.)

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #258 on: March 12, 2008, 09:51:48 PM »
Talia didn't say anything, content to let Aerex do the talking.  She contented herself with admiring the ship.  It really was fine-looking.  Hopefully Aerex could talk them onto it, and hopefully it would do well enough in the Regatta that they'd get close to the Harbormaster.  She studied the ship's rigging.  If Aerex managed to get them aboard, she'd have to do her best to be useful.  It would help if she knew what ropes did what.
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #259 on: March 13, 2008, 01:53:15 PM »
<Bluff Successful>

"I aint in tha' market for anything, I'm jus' guardin'" the youth replied, looking bored, but after some thought. "So youse the three that were suppose'ta come by to interview with the captain, then? Right. Someone mentioned you'd be comin' by. She's over there" he said, pointing toward the boathouse. "Go in, toward the back there, you'll see 'er. "

It seemed the guards were indeed expecting potential crew mates to interview for positions on board the Vermillion Wind this day.

As the three proceeded toward the boathouse, the guard whispered to Aerex, "Hey. Myself? I'd put money on the Wavetamer. Best boat, best crew. Oh, and if your friend joins the crew of the Vermillion , he might sink 'er! All that weight? nah, he'll slow 'er down. Bad bet, bad bet" he mumbled and smiled.

Inside the boathouse, the sun's rays were replaced by wall lamp sconces. After exchanging some looks with the painters, and the few sailors, who were busy examining the Vermillion's hull and contours, the three companions approached the door of the Captain's temporary office. It was ajar.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 01:54:48 PM by Murometz »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #260 on: March 13, 2008, 04:58:39 PM »
Expecting us, huh? Aerex thought morbidly.  It was still morning and he already felt manipulated by the Tagma.  It was one thing to setup an interview as they - probably the woman Draziel - had already done.  But how did they know that there would be three of them there?  His divulgence of his allies, and Talia in particular, to Draziel had been extremely limited, Aerex not wanting to drag them down any further than he needed to.  Matare felt strung along into the dockside office, like bug wandering lustily into a flycatcher plant.

The ranger took a deep breath then poked his head into the ajar door.  "Good morning, Captain.  You needed a crew?"

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #261 on: March 13, 2008, 09:29:29 PM »
VermillionWind

The Captain barely looked up at the three companions as they entered, only briefly raising her eyes from the table to get a cursory glance.

She was poring over a desk littered with charts, maps, and documents. Beautiful, at first glance, and every glance thereafter, she was still a young woman, who had yet to see forty summers. Her face was permanently bronzed from sun and wind, her eyes emerald-green pools of immeasurable depths. She was dressed humbly, in tanned leathers, and Aerex would never suspect that she captained a sloop, he found himself thinking, had he met this woman under different circumstances. Yet, she had the air of command about her just the same, there was no denying that fact. Willful and full of passion, to be sure.

Talia stared at the woman, confused. Aerex and Vorodon came upon a realization only seconds later. The captain bore a striking resemblance to the Bladedancer. The streaks of silver-white near her temples, contrasting with her otherwise raven locks, only emphasized the point. The two women could have been sisters.

Still scribbling in her journal, the captain spoke, “They did not say anything about ogre-kin. They said three sailors. How much to you weigh in stone?” she addressed Vorodon. Then noticing what the companions already noticed, she looked intently at Talia and after a few seconds smiled. “Well, you’ll certainly do, if I ever need to be seen in two places at the same time. And I’d be lying if I said that might not yet prove useful.” she said, smiled and examined Talia, sizing her up and furrowing her perfect brows in thought.

Just then Aerex realized that it was not the Tagma guiding him, but blind luck, and a good bluff. It seemed the Captain of the Vermillion Wind was indeed expecting three potential crew members this day. Though instead, got three adventurers-upon-return.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #262 on: March 14, 2008, 09:41:03 PM »
Talia stared at the Captain for a few moments.  "La plaisanterie d'ancêtres," she muttered to herself.  It was slightly surreal.  There was a phrase among the gypsies, 'ma soeur secrète', 'my secret sister.'  With as much as caravans travelled and intermingled, and as many people liked to enjoy themselves, it wasn't all that rare to come across a previously unknown relation in a different caravan.  Had the Captain been another gypsy, Talia would have automatically assumed that to be the case here.  It was, she supposed, still possible.  It was also possible that they simply looked alike.  At any rate, it seemed she was on the right track.

"Yes, sometimes it is useful to be two-fold.  I don't mind playing the part, within reason."  Talia was also sizing up the other woman.  This was one who knew her business, and if she was anyting like herself, not a woman to be crossed lightly.  And if she proved to be a hopeless sailor, hopefully doubling for the other woman would be enough of a boon that the other wouldn't mind too much.

(Is she older or younger than Talia?)
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #263 on: March 15, 2008, 07:28:44 AM »
"Duty, duty... it's all about 'have to' and 'am obliged'. Adan, the cause why a man stands up for others should not be forced upon him - it's the will to safrifice for others, because it is right, because you like them... When you've been given the strength to help, it would be selfish and foolish not to use it. And it feels good. You need to feel good about something - youself. Now, let's look into this forest matter. Shouldn't be too difficult, either - we will be back before evening."

Easier said it was than done, and Kyrian was not so foolish to believe that a simple speech would remove Adan's gloomy feelings. But, it had to start somewhere.
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #264 on: March 15, 2008, 10:05:27 PM »
Aerex looked slightly dumbfounded for a moment.  The Captain's likeness to Talia was more than striking, it was disturbing.  Given that he had only the night before spoken to a bald female monk who said he was to be the next dynast, Matare would have seriously begun to question his sanity; the fact that he had been traveling with an ogre and a gypsy for the past months gave him some comfort in that he had grown quite fond of insanity.

The ranger recovered and cleared his voice.  "I hope, Captain, that you'll find us at least as useful on the water," he said with an air of professionalism.  "It would be our pleasure to serve aboard the Vermilion Wind."

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #265 on: March 16, 2008, 09:47:42 PM »
Vorodon was filled with pride at his friend's unexpected assurances.  While Vorodon hadn't ever been aboard a boat this size, how could he let the Insector down?   He had no idea that Aerax had such confidence in his abilities as a sailor!  Still, the hill warrior felt he should clarify his actual experience for the captain.

"Vorodon no knots!  Vorodon no sails!  Vorodon gladness here!" he thundered enthusuastically, stepping forward to offer the captain his hand.
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #266 on: March 23, 2008, 04:14:20 PM »
It was with a faint smile that Adan shook his head, as if ruefully accepting the chiding. "Soon enough, Kyrian. When we reach the Fortress of the Heroine, I will be able to fulfill the task I have taken upon myself. But yes. Let us see about the forests. I would be done with this before Brother Tristan arrives."

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Re: Convergence (Chap IV)
« Reply #267 on: March 26, 2008, 03:49:55 AM »
Off Herald's back he hopped, right in front of the tavern. "The Empress' Jewel" it was, according to a weather-beaten shield proudly displayed above an equally weather-beaten door. The day was bright, the air fresh outside as Kyrian strolled into the shadowy and damp inn. After sweeping the room with his gaze, he approached the bar, looking for the proprietor. A large man possessed of an ample belly and even ampler beard it was, and if not for his seven feet in height, he could be mistaken for one of the dwarves.

"Greetings, keeper of this tavern fine. Halnoli sends me to aks what ails you, to be of help and assistance. Please, tell more, and order a girl to make a lunch basket as well, of meat and cheese and bread and fruit amle and fresh. Coin I have, and a wish to get to work before the day gets much older."
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